Fine Gael Cllr Cyril Burke said that the jobs announcements for Castlebar this week are a testament to the great efforts that have been made by the Government and Mayo County Council to spread job creation to rural towns in Ireland. He said that the people must understand that it takes time to deliver jobs to any location.
Cllr Burke said: "It often takes years of planning and resource management for a company to either open a new facility or relocate its operations, and this week we are seeing the fruits of two years' negotiations between Mayo County Council, the Local Enterprise Office, agencies and NGOs, along with agents of these companies in delivering jobs to Castlebar. The contractor Tim Kelly Group from Ballinrobe have been on site at the Breaffy Road campus since the beginning of January preparing the building for the new occupants. As passersby can see, the building is back looking like it did when it was home to almost 1,000 employees during a period while Fianna Fail were in government and the jobs were lost."
Cllr Burke went on to say that he was disappointed during the week to hear Fianna Fáil General Election candidate Cllr Lisa Chambers state on live radio that the jobs at the facility were not likely to be delivered, as the statement came at a delicate time for the companies about to announce setting up in Mayo. He said: "Governments create the conditions for companies to come here and this should not be politicised as these statements can have detrimental effects on company decision making."
The companies that have said they are to set up operations in the facility are BrightBeam, Hungry Plant Technology and Food 360. Hungry Plant Technology is a manufacturer of industrial scale vertical farming equipment and information technologies. The company said it expects to see the first production line by April 2016 and hope to add as many as 100 jobs in the coming year. Solar lighting innovation and manufacturing company BrightBeam manufactures LED solar lighting products. Company officials said they expect to open the first production line by the end of May 2016, and to add as many as 60 positions in the coming year. Food 360 is a Galway based company that provides innovative services for farmers and food producers.
Cllr Burke continued: "I would like to thank the chief executive of Mayo County Council, Peter Hynes, and his staff, particularly Joanne Grehan, John McGee and David Menton from the Local Enterprise Office, Opensparkz as promoters and of course the companies themselves for the great collaboration involved in delivering this project to Castlebar."